Short job search story - how to have a clear job search focus

A Short story about Jenny's career.

Jenny C is a shopgirl. She's out of work, and really wants a career in retail management, which she actually likes. She's a fashionista, and a bit of an expert on clothes. She can in fact make her own clothes, and she's even sold a few evening dresses to her friends.

As a job hunter, Jenny discovers that her retail experience is exactly like that of everybody else going for those shopgirl jobs. She simply doesn't have the training or experience to really stand out, and the sheer number of applicants works against her. Employers looking for shopgirls aren't looking for designers, either, so her talents can't be used for getting jobs. She just can't market her real skills effectively.

However- She's not put off. She is quite sure of her talents. She's sick and tired of job hunting, and wants to get to work on her passion.

That leads to a bit of introspection. The first thing she notices is that even if she's good at her work, and her designs, she really doesn't have all the skills she needs to progress in retail. Added to which, she really wants to do design. She knows she can make a career out of it, but how?

(That was actually mentioned to her by a well-meaning interviewer, but it took a while to sink in. She was told that she needed something to distinguish her from other applicants, apart from enthusiasm and good design skills.)

Jenny's no idiot. She's also determined to get her career off the ground. She starts checking out possible skills and training she can get. She finds a range of good, cheap, courses in retail skills and related things like bookkeeping and basic business accounting. She also finds a training college to get some credentials to back up her design skills.

This is an enormous amount of work, but with her very strong talents, she finds the training college a real joy, so she's extremely busy, but quite happy.

Not spending whole days sitting around looking at ads on the net is a nice change, too. She now knows she's achieving something.

Another thing which has become very clear is that she's acquiring a lot of transferable skills. All the business stuff is extremely useful.

Ideas grow, if you let them. After some exposure to the design school, and with a lot of encouragement from her friends and teachers, she realizes what she really wants is her own shop, selling her own clothes.

That's now a lot more practical than it was a few months earlier. She's learned a lot from the various courses, and knows what she'd do if she had the chance.

However, like most people, she has bills to pay, a life to live, and has to earn a living. So she starts thinking long term, a few moves in advance.

If she wants her career the way she dreams of it, she has to be able to be financially stable, and work realistically towards her goal. That means, basically, get a job and use it to cover expenses and fund the next move.

She's also realized that as a shopgirl, her income isn't likely to be funding very much, if anything. So she aims a bit higher, using her new skills. The result is that she gets a job in customer service at a local computer shop, paying a bit more, with some decent promotional opportunities.

This job gives her priceless business experience. This is the sort of experience any career person needs. It's the frontline work, where you can learn everything from the ground up, and learn it properly.

She's a quick learner, good with customers, and very reliable with her bookkeeping. She becomes a customer service supervisor, and her salary goes up considerably.

Meanwhile she's still working on her real goal. Determination just gets stronger, when it's something you really want.

The new salary means she can now afford decent quality materials, and she goes to work on her designs. The computer shop has some good graphics software, and she happily settles down making beautiful designs, and tinkering with her ideas.

Being a real fashion nut, and an expert, by now, she also knows every clothing retailer in her area. Some of them she's known since she was a kid. She wants advice, opinions, and criticism of her designs, and she knows she'll get truthful replies from these retailers.

So she starts a small campaign, testing out the waters for her designs, She rings the retailers, asks if they can help with some honest opinions, and emails them her portfolio of designs she's happy with herself.

At this point she's got a very good time management routine in place. The design work isn't really work at all, she could do it all day every day. The computer store is a great place to work, much nicer than the drudge side of her shopgirl days.

The retailers come back to her, a bit stunned. Some of them knew she was doing design, some didn't. Jenny happens to be a very talented designer, and the quality of materials on her designs is excellent, but they didn't know she was that good.

Instead of criticism, she gets orders.

That's great news, and also a bit of a problem. She hadn't been thinking about prices. She can't, on her own, make 200 dresses.

Six months earlier, she would have been lost. Now, with the business skills and added training, It's no problem. she simply costs her materials, and offers her classmates at the training college some assembly work. After all's said and done and paid for, she makes per dress for herself.

The dresses vanish off the racks in a couple of weeks, and she gets repeat orders, including from some other out of town retailers she's never heard of before, for 400 dresses. She's gone from being an unemployed shopgirl to a fashion brand in six months. She's amused and pleased to see herself referred to as a fashion renegade in a local magazine a few months later.

Does Jenny drop everything and become a fulltime dressmaking business?

No, she doesn't. She's now made ,000 from the two orders, but she's also a talented businesswoman, and she likes to check out risks. She's been a fashionista since she was 12, and she's well aware of the flash in the pan effect.

The first thing she does is get some business advice from the owner of the computer business where she still works, her college teachers, and a lawyer of her father's.

Her dream career has now added another level; she wants to become a chain, not just a store, maybe even a franchise, if her father's lawyer is right.

You won't be surprised to hear Jenny didn't lose out on her eventual decision. She's also now part owner of the computer store, which has opened several branch stores and her trainees get their design software at a discount.

When you use your talents, everything becomes easy. You're never lost. You instinctively make good moves. Your mindset is perfectly natural, and your thinking is always clear. Job Search Story.

Add determination, and nothing will stop you.